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tv   [untitled]    March 2, 2012 9:30pm-10:00pm PST

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saying there is an element of vagueness. it could be spelled out. that is all of my comments. commissioner borden: i just wanted to go back to this. in the c district, all signs would be limited 40 feet in height. obviously, that makes sense for a lower rise building. when you are talking about high- rises, many of which are over 100 feet in height, some already have signs. a lot of them have assigned as the building them. fidelity has a big fidelity sign on their building. is that the building name or a business line? scott sanchez: the name of the business on the building would be a business sign. there are some signs downtown that are clearly above 100 feet.
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those are grandfathered in, particularly under the planning code. when you change the business son, you need to comply with current code. but there was something in the 90's that allowed a few signs. the u.s. bank sign is one that is legal. they were able to change to washington mutual. other way around. under the proposal, it would lower it down to 40 feet. commissioner borden: i guess my point is it would not make sense for a building that is 150 feet to have a sign at 40 feet. >> the current code limits it at 100 feet, no matter what size the building is. there are a few exceptions. but mostly, if it is above 100 feet, it is not conforming. commissioner borden: i would say
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that otherwise all the other signage should have no problem. i know that at some other point we should have a conversation about this. i know for a lot of the technology companies, they like having signage on their building to call out who they are. think about whether that makes sense, does not make sense in the context of all the policies we are trying to promote. i am not saying i am for it, but we need to have a conversation about it at some point. commissioner antonini: i appreciate the efforts in this regard to try to define improved silage -- signage. it is always hard to legislate aesthetics. i know of some very small signs that are very ugly and some bigger signs that can be attractive.
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that being said, i think most of this sounds fine. i think that wherever we can allow some flexibility in the legislation, i think it helps us a little bit to have some discretion. as far as roof signs are concerned, i am not sure i would be entirely in favor of banning them. there may be issues where they may be appropriate again. the instance has been brought up a polar buildings. they might be appropriate. it just sort of depends, perhaps. in some instances, the could be improved by cu. if there is a compelling reason for it to be there, it is a process that could go through. it is not in this legislation, but the signs on the sides of buildings in the downtown area, such as the union bank and i think u.s. bank, either on the
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top or the side -- there are quite a few on some of the taller buildings. in terms of the height allowable, i agree with staff that a limit of 100 feet instead of making it smaller is probably the preferable way to do it. the idea of not allowing any signs on the tops of gas stations, i think is a good idea. we do not have gas stations by freeways that people are wishing by at 70 mph and have to know long ahead of time they will need to slow up for the gas station. i am not sure we need to have signs that are quite as large around gas stations. i would encourage this
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legislation to be done in a way that does still allow some discretion on placement of signs and various things regarding the signs. in general, i think i agree with what is proposed here. vice president wu: i have a very specific question about awnings and about plastic awnings. looking at supervisor chu's chart from the last time this was in front of the commission, they asked to prohibit plastic awnings. is that consistent with the staff recommendation? quickstep is fine with that recommendation. it was not included, but we do not have an issue if that is the with the supervisor wants to do it. -- >> staff is fine with that recommendation. commissioner moore: -- commissioner miguel: a question arose regarding the end of life of the sign.
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what i would like to be sure of is that -- i think the term maintenance got thrown in there. what that actually means -- i am thinking of neighborhood commercial districts in particular in this regard. signs have by wires that hold them up. -- guy wires that hold them up. is that maintenance, where there is a metal frame that has a plastic insert inside the metal frame? a change of modernization of that plastic inserts, i do not know whether that is considered maintenance to change the sign, or whether it has to come down. scott sanchez: a change of copy, if a business is keeping the same name, but changing their logo, that would be subject to current code requirements. commissioner miguel: with the
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same name and a change in design? scott sanchez: yes. commissioner miguel: even a change in font? you keep 75 year-old copy or change your sign? scott sanchez: yes. commissioner miguel: truthfully, i think that is pushing it. i think that is really pushing the envelope very, very much. if you change the name, if you change the business, as i discussed before, that is one thing. but just changing the modernization, perhaps color, that sort of thing -- that, to me, is pushing the envelope. i think that is incorrect, very truthfully. the other thing, the last line -- the department says the provision should exempt temporary signs for events, such as embarcadero market. i agree with the department on
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that. and want to make sure in the same manner there is on political science their responsibility in timeliness for removal. that should be in there. -- political signs, their responsibility in timeliness for removal. that was true of political science. four elections down , those are still up there. -- four elections down the line, those are still up there. commissioner moore: temporary barriers on our light posts, is that under this as well? >> i think that is department of public works. this is just for private property. or i guess public property, but not public right of way. the sign code only deals with
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private property. commissioner moore: thank you. i misunderstood. president fong: we will open it back up to the topic of clerical and minor modifications. >> i can go through all 120, if you would like. commissioner moore: in summary, i am really glad you are tracking it and taking the time to consolidate it, contradictions in use of words and references. >> we have to thank the author of the legislation for that. commissioner sugaya: i may be remiss in not having read the entire legislation. i would like to go to everyone,
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actually-- through every one, actually. are they identified separately from all the pieces of legislation we are talking about here? >> where i got that number -- i went through every change in the legislation and wrote it down and identify whether or not i thought it was a clerical modification. commissioner sugaya: you know where they all are? >> only me. commissioner sugaya: can we get a copy? >> it is not ready for prime time, but i would be happy to give that to you. commissioner sugaya: think you. president fong: on the topic of transfer of development rights? commissioner antonini: this is excellent. about two years ago, i think we had to initiate the legislation on old st. mary's because of geographic considerations and
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its location, where it was outside the c3. there are other provisions within the c3 that would make this transfer of development rights impossible. this makes it more realistic and encompasses a broader area. i think it is a good piece of legislation. commissioner sugaya: you were mentioning there was not complete agreement from the historic preservation commission? >> the past irresolution to approve the legislation with past recommendations. there is no recommended change from tdr's. we recommended some things that touched on historic buildings. they had those recommendations. they wanted more information on how the department implements it. it was not contingent upon them approving the legislation. commissioner sugaya: it is my
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understanding the port is also considering some kind of program? >> report is interested in also having tdr on their property, but that is not part of this legislation. commissioner sugaya: i do not know how soon that question might come up. is it possible that the changes that we are trying to implement through this legislation, and the changes for the new program that the port might be interested in, the subject to ceqa, as a cumulative effect on the city's historic resources? >> i believe all legislation needs to be reviewed under ceqa. vice president wu: i wanted to go back to the bigger picture and say first thank you for breaking this down into these pieces.
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i think this legislation was very difficult to understand, because it covered so many different topic areas. it was hard to analyze what the implementation would be. i really appreciate these different categories, pulling them out in the face approach. with regards to tdr's -- phased approach. with regards to tdr's, i wanted to know why the new soma district is included. >> i think that was part of previous legislation. they are maintaining the status quo. it is currently allowed. scott sanchez: that was formerly a c3 zoning district, which allowed tdr's to be taken from the properties. it was converted to a mixed use
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district. they made it where it still allowed you to use tdr's. you are currently allowed to take tdr from the properties. they are eligible to be transferred from the property. vice president wu: i think i want to get a sense of how many projects are coming forward, may be asking to use tdr's. do you have a general sense? scott sanchez: i do not know of the top of my head how many projects right now would be -- we were discussing tdr's earlier this morning. historically, there have not been a lot of projects. that is is based on a review of the number of cases we have received, which are cases that have you use the tdr. i do not have the numbers and could not give you an accurate count right now. vice president wu: i would be
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curious with the expanded areas in which you could use the tdr's to see if it changes the number of applications going forward, and see if it increases the amount and what effect it might have. scott sanchez: all those projects would still be subject to review by this commission. they are planning codes section 309. commissioner moore: i wanted to just briefly say that i am supporting the historic preservation concerns about tracking. tdr's are really nothing which are around that long. it is really in the mid to late 70's -- a professor who teaches at lsu and batten ruche -- baton rouge once spoke about the start in new york, it being something relatively new without having a
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real history an overview. we do not know the benefits or shortcomings of the use of tdr's in san francisco in the c3 district, where they came from, how they are used. it is hard to understand what they really do and do not do. but opening the topic now, to take even the transfer of development rights into adjoining districts, and expanding the geographic this trick of how they can get used, i am a little concerned this becomes like a commodity trading. i want to use that word very carefully. the transfer development rights gives you significant rights for building larger buildings from buildings which cannot really realize it within the specific locations. i want to make sure that how tdr's have been used in san
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francisco since the implementation of the downtown plan has indeed created the results from which can take the. i am asking the generic question, not trying to undermine that it might be a good idea. but within the statement of not having had any tracking in the past, or how to track it in the future, i am a little concerned it is too wide open a statement. that pretty much links into the question that commissioner wu was asking, and linking to what commissioner sugaya says, tdr's on the waterfront opens a broader discussion. i hope there could be more than three weeks spent on that to do that properly. scott sanchez: i think it is an excellent point. tracking is critical. but we have quite a robust system of tracking tdr credits.
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that is something dan sider is heading now. we have all the have been applied for in the past 20 plus years. this does not expand geographically where they may be used. it just allows them to be more easily transferred within that area. it is not extending the geographic area. it is just allowing the transfer. right now, we can show you the chart, but it is quite complicated. it depends whether it is a significant building or not. it depends on the zoning district, which district it is. is it from a building? is it going to a building? it looks like a complicated railroad yard. this would simplify that. i just wanted to point that out. commissioner moore: i appreciate your saying that. perhaps we could have a presentation from mr. sider to
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understand the benefits of this legislation more fully. commissioner sugaya: i was just point to say i think the tracking system is there. you have to know -- i know there is a -- i mean, the sale and purchase is a private affair. but i think we all know what the costs are of that kind of thing. it is just a matter of pulling the data together. it might have already been done once, back when supervisor peskin was interested in tdr's off of public buildings. there must have been a study done at that point. his the follow-up on commissioner -- just a follow-up on commissioner moore at some point. >> particularly if the port wants to move forward. it is timely for us to have a
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hearing on this issue and look at the trucking we have done, and this does. -- tracking we have done, and the status. commissioner antonini: all we are really doing here is making the definition a little broader throughout the c3. one man working with the old st. mary's -- a similar instance. there were different subcategories within the c3 that made it hard, because it could only transfer within like categories. this makes it easier to find a recipient of the rights within the c3, as opposed to a very complicated system of matching the excess of the present time. i think that is what i understand this is largely doing. >> you are correct. it was described to me there is a log jam and it is hard to transfer and allow the program
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to continue. president fong: on the item of limited commercial uses, and the questions or comments? -- any questions or comments? commissioner sugaya: if i have a cu, and i come to the department and want to reactivate it, what kinds of uses can be reactivated? >> correct me if i am wrong, but it is the uses that are either permitted in then -- in an nc-1 district, or within a specified neighbor commercial district within a quarter mile. commissioner sugaya: it is conceivable that if i had a bar at one point and wanted to reactivate the bar -- it is conceivable that you would not even be permitted to go through a cu if it was a prohibited use?
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scott sanchez: it may be allowed, because i believe a bar is a conditional use in an nc-1 zoning district. there are additional requirements related to hours of operation. 186.1 allows -- it outlines conditions. there is a thoughtful intent there to have uses that would not have a negative impact on the residential uses. these are generally commercial uses in residential districts. they are limited in their operation. commissioner sugaya: those that would not be permitted would not come forward even with a cu? scott sanchez: that is correct. it would have to meet the current requirements for luc's. -- lcu's. commissioner moore: i am not sure if i am getting this right.
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originally, you had lcu's pertain to corner stores. this was omitted in your latest writing. it could have been shorthand. >> there are two different topics. there are limited commercial uses and limited corner commercial uses. i omitted that because we felt it was not one of the lesser contentious items. we wanted to focus the conversation on those things that we could probably get broad consensus on. the lccu's and the changes to that i have not brought up were discussed in this memo. they will be faced 2. -- phase 2. commissioner moore: i see. thank you. perhaps in the same vein i will ask -- has the staff
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recommendation changed from the december 12 memo, where you were specifically saying the department wants separate lcu's? i am again not properly using movie -- the lccu, although this refers to lcu. >> lccu's are now we are talking about today. but the change in legislation for lccu's would allow them to increase to 2500 square feet and 100 feet from an intersection. the department -- the lccu regulations were developed through an extensive community planning process with market octavia and the eastern neighborhoods. we have a policy that we review
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those community plans after five years before we make any changes to them. our recommendation for the lccu is to not change them until those five years havcommissionet it wrong, you are saying these were developed as part of a -- in the december plan, i misread it. >> the memo i sent you last night? commissioner moore: i am referring to the december 12 memo. i will check it. i might have missed something. president fong: on the item related to bike parking. commissioner antonini: i think this basically sounds fine. i think including mattel's makes it consistent. they have a lot of employees,
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dislike everyone else does. the only concern i would have -- i think there is one place where it had to be added. the addition of 10,000 square feet or more -- that sounds kind of low. it would probably be doable. it just depends how the structure would be laid out. i would think they would be able to find a place to accommodate the parking within the building. have you had any input from the small business commission or the chamber on this? they seem to be ok with this part of it. >> we have presented this to the small business commission. it was an issue that brought up. whether or not they have specific issues -- no one has addressed that with me. i have heard from a lot of members of the business community about other aspects of the legislation which are not in this memo. commissioner antonini:
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specifically about the bikes. on the face, it does not seem it would drive the cost of expansion or building a new building and creating a new business up to the point where it would be prohibited. it seems like it would be able to be accommodated. commissioner moore: i did not know that a bicycle parking lot was included in the car collisions of area, because parking is not. are you carving out the two parking spaces which take 10 bicycles to add that to the f.a.r. calculations? i am in support of not doing that. i was wondering why the planning department wants to take on any additional enforcement actions, to figure out whether they are there or not.
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you enforce the bike parking regulations, but it is checked by sfmta, correct? scott sanchez: the enforcement process currently allows $50 a day to the office of the summit administrator. we recommend it changing to section 176, which allows up to $250 a day. at the time the parking legislation was introduced, we did not have as robust a parking system as we do now. commissioner moore: if that is what you want to do, and obviously supporting it. the one item i have a little problem with -- i support every other way of increasing and supporting bicycle ratio. this is partially because people
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who come to the city, in 99% of the cases, they rent the bicycles. most people, and i happen to be living near some of the larger hotels in the city, people come by car and do not care about bicycles. what are we burdening hotels? it is employee parking? that was not spelled out. i wrote in my notes i would support it for hotel employees. but i thought you were asking for bicycle spaces for a room. this is not clearly expressed here. obviously, it goes without saying if it is just employees, i am all for it. commissioner borden: i support the provisions here.